I’m sure that every Facebook users has at some point received a message saying ‘is this a video of you?’ The messages supposedly come from friends and they include a link to a video that they claim you appear in. Now most people will recognise messages like these as being a scam and they won’t click on the link. However, this is just one of the countless ways that scammers use to trick people out of details, passwords and money.
Here are my top tips on how to keep yourself safe from scams
- Never click on a link that has been sent to you even if you think it is from a reputable source. The safest way to get to a website is by typing the organisation into google instead
- Try and have lots of different passwords. If one account is compromised your other accounts will still be safe.
- If you can, try and update your passwords regularly, especially on important things like banking apps.
- Never give out a password regardless of who is asking for it.
- If you are unsure about a number try searching it and see what comes up. If it is a scam number it will probably come up as blacklisted.
- Try not to shop whilst using a public Wi-Fi, it is much easier for your details to be stolen on a public Wi-Fi than a personal one. The university Wi-Fi does not count as a public Wi-Fi in this context.
- Is it too good to be true? If someone is offering high financial gain for a low risk it probably isn’t real.
- First a foremost, if it feels wrong It probably is. Follow your instincts and if you aren’t sure, just stop.
What to do if you think that you are a victim of a scam
- If it is money related call your bank immediately to let them know what has happened, this should prevent any further money from coming out of your account. Once you have done this your bank should advise you about how to get your money back. The possibility of this depends on how the money was taken.
- If your password has been stolen change it as soon as possible.
- If scam messages have been sent to family and friends try and warn them using a different form of communication.
- If your computer or device has been hacked you could visit the National Cyber Security website for advice or contact someone who can come and have a look at your device.
- You could call the non-emergency police number on 101 to report the crime